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How to Enjoy Your Visit to Zeelandic Flanders the Best Way

Updated on November 18, 2017
Titia profile image

My country - the Netherlands - is a beautiful place to visit. It's flat, but the Dutch skies are famous.

Zeelandic Flanders - Zeeuws-Vlaanderen
Zeelandic Flanders - Zeeuws-Vlaanderen | Source

Zeelandic Flanders (Zeeuws-Vlaanderen)

This place where I live, Zeelandic Flanders in The Netherlands, is the perfect place to visit when you are planning a vacation to Holland and if you like seafood, biking, the beach and nature: we have it all. The village Breskens still has a fishing fleet, a fish auction and a fish market and a fishing museum. The Roman city of Aardenburg, has an archeological museum and the famous St. Bavo church (architectural style: Westerschelde Gothic) with its painted graves. The old village Sluis, where shops are open 7 days a week, daily visited by hundreds of Belgian people. We have Philippine, famous for its seafood restaurants. We have beautiful beaches at the North Sea, lots of camp sites along the North Sea coast, hotels and bed & breakfast accommodations. Biking through our nature brings you peace of mind. To put it briefly: Zeelandic Flanders is a must if you're planning to go on vacation to the Netherlands and love the quietness of nature.

Have You Ever Travelled to the Netherlands?

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Zeelandic Flanders - Geographically

Zeelandic Flanders
Zeelandic Flanders | Source

We Have Emerged from the Sea

Zeeland is the only Province in The Netherlands, which consists of several peninsulas. The people who were born here and live here have always been closely bonded to the sea. Zeelandic Flanders is the only part of the Province Zeeland, which is not surrounded on three sides by water. It's bordered to Belgium in the South with its beautiful historic cities Bruges, Knokke and Ghent which are not far away.

Zeelandic Flanders hasn't always been one piece of land. In early centuries it consisted of several small islands and during all the past centuries, land was regained from the sea. Each new piece got surrounded by small, high dikes on which trees were planted to keep the soil from slipping away. That's why, even today, we have so many trees bordering our rural lanes.

First We Had Ferry Boats, Now We Have a Tunnel

Ferry boats and tunnel
Ferry boats and tunnel | Source

Our Only Connection to the Rest of the Netherlands Is a Tunnel

Geographically it's a bit odd that this is a part of The Netherlands and not a part of Belgium, but we're happy the way it is, though we've been sitting quite isolated from the rest of Holland for a long time. Maybe that's why the people in Zeelandic Flanders are more focused on Belgium for a lot of things and have a bit more exuberant life style than the people at the other side of the sea arm Western Scheldt. This sea arm has always been kind of a barrier, because we could only cross it by ferry boats. There used to be two boats, one Breskens-Vlissingen and one Perkpolder-Kruiningen.

The Western Scheldt Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles)

Western Scheldt Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles)
Western Scheldt Tunnel 6,6 km (4.10 miles) | Source
Source

The Western Scheldt Tunnel

Both ferries ceased to exist when the famous Western Scheldt tunnel was opened in 2003. Only in Breskens they kept a fast ferry for pedestrians and bicyclists. So today, when we want to travel North to the rest of Holland, we can cross the Western Scheldt through this famous tunnel which has a length of 6.6 kilometer (=4.10 miles). Or when we want to travel to the rest of the Netherlands through Belgium, we have to cross the river 'Scheldt' in Antwerp.

Either way we have to pay a tunnel fee to get to the rest of our own country. The people, living in Zeelandic Flanders are not at all happy with that, though we get a reduction for the Western Scheldt tunnel, it's still 4.00 Euros ($5,50) each time we want to cross over. Imagine all the people who live in Zeelandic Flanders, but are working or going to school across the Western Scheldt. That adds up to $10,00 a day.

In our local hymn, we call it an 'exclusive piece of land' and that's exactly what it is: exclusive but beautiful in many aspects.

Are You Interested in Fishing?

How Can I Find the Best Fishing Spots?

In this part of the Netherlands you can either go fishing on trout in a pond, sea fishing from the beach or sea fishing from a boat. It's not allowed to fish in the canals and old creeks without a proper permit. The local Tourist Office can tell you all about that.

* Fishing on Trout in a pond
Nowhere in the Netherlands you'll find wild trout swimming in rivers, alas, you'll only find them in commercial fishing ponds. There is one close to the village Oostburg and it's called 'The Henricus Hoeve'. You can find it on the internet. You pay for 4,5 hours fishing, they put 3 or 4 trout in the pond and all the trout you're able to catch you can take home. You have to submit to certain rules though which will be explained to you. If you don't have your own rods, you can hire one.

* Sea fishing from the beach
Sea fishing from the beach is free, but you'll need your own fishing gear and sea worms. In Breskens and in Cadzand are stores that sell the sea worms.

* Sea fishing from a boat
There are several fishing boat companies that organize a fishing day at sea. There's one in Breskens and there are several in Vlissingen (across the Western Scheldt). Those boat trips are a lot of fun and depending on the season you can catch a lot of fish.

The Fishing Pond 'Henricus Hoeve' in Oostburg

Fishing Pond Henricus Hoeve in Oostburg, the Netherlands
Fishing Pond Henricus Hoeve in Oostburg, the Netherlands | Source

Boat Fishing from the Fishing Boat 'Zeearend'

Seafishing from the boat 'Zeearend' in Vlissingen
Seafishing from the boat 'Zeearend' in Vlissingen | Source

Are You Interested in Chilling on the Sunny Beach?

Our Beaches Are Clean and Beautiful, but Also Full of People

At the West coast of Zeelandic Flanders we have beautiful dunes and beaches at the North Sea. In Summer frequently visited by German and Belgian tourists. Villages along the sea shore are Cadzand-Bad, Groede, Nieuwvliet and Knokke in Belgium.

The beaches are beautiful, but because the North Sea bends into the sea arm Western Scheldt, the ingoing and outgoing tides are very strong. That's why they've build so many wave-breakers on the beaches. Swimming in sea can therefore be quite dangerous. Just be careful and don't go too far into the sea, when the outgoing tide is there. On some beaches, Cadzand-Bad mostly you can find shark teeth in the sand. They make very nice necklaces when set in silver.

Horse Riding at the Sea Shore

horseback riding at the beach
horseback riding at the beach | Source

Beach in Zeelandic Flanders

Beach at Cadzand
Beach at Cadzand | Source

Sleeping Accomodations

What Kind of Accomodation Are You Looking For?

Sleeping accomodations are important when your on a trip abroad. Some only want the basic, some want a bit or more luxury. You can find it all in Zeelandic Flanders. There are lots of campings if you like to camp out, small ones and big ones. There are lots of hotels, Bed and Breakfast and house rentals. You can find them all on the internet if you search for them. I'm not recommending them here, because I've never slept in a hotel in my own area, so I wouldn't know what to say about them. Best thing is to read the reviews of the people who've been there and therefore know what they are talking about. However what one person might see as a bad service, could've been sufficient for someone else. Reviews of customers are seldom objective.

If you're looking for staying just for one night, a weekend or a midweek, those B&B's aren't the worst accomodations to be sleeping in.

B&B accomodation "Lief Huisje Zeeland" (Cosy Little House)

Lief Huisje Zeeland you can find it on Facebook
Lief Huisje Zeeland you can find it on Facebook | Source

Places where you can eat

How Can I Find the Best Restaurants

Today you can find anything on the internet and that goes for finding a nice and cozy restaurant too. There are too many in Zeelandic Flanders to give you a list. Just type 'restaurants in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen' in your browser and it will give you lots of information.

There are restaurants on the beach and in almost every little village in this area. Zeelandic Flanders is famous for its sea food, so if you like to eat fish, I'm sure you'll find one. The village of Philippine is a small village, which was build in 1505 and was connected through the sea inlet Braakman to the Western Scheldt and North Sea. They developed the culture of mussels and became famous for it. Around 1900 this inlet silted up and in 1952 the Braakman was dammed up. Philippine however never lost its fame for the mussels and you can still find 8 restaurants which mainly serve mussels.


Fishing Boat in Breskens

Fishing boat Breskens 14 (BR-14)
Fishing boat Breskens 14 (BR-14) | Source

Fishing Nets - the Fishermen's Gear

fishing boat nets
fishing boat nets | Source

Local History

What Is the Best Way to Learn About the Local History?

The best way to learn about the local history is to visit the local musea.

  • Aardenburg - Archeologic museum
  • Breskens - Fishing museum
  • IJzendijke - Local area museum
  • Koewacht - Flax museum

Aardenburg - Archaeological Museum

The Archeologic museum in Aardenburg
The Archeologic museum in Aardenburg | Source

The City of Aardenburg - a Roman Settlement

Aardenburg is from origin a Roman settlement and a lot of what was found in the ground has been restored and is displayed in the cutest little museum showing the roman excavations. Aardenburg is famous too for its Pre-Gothic Church (Western Scheldt Gothic) displaying its ancient painted and restored stone graves.

I've lived in this village during my childhood in a marvellous 17th century old house.

My 17th Century Childhood Home in Aardenburg

Our house in Aardenburg
Our house in Aardenburg | Source

Fishing Museum Breskens - Showing Treasures Caught in Fishing Nets

Breskens is a small town, situated the sea arm Western Scheldt. It has always been a fishermen's village and they still have a fishing fleet these days. The village got a total overhauling in the last decade. Most famous is the Fishing Museum at the harbor. You can see models of fishing boats, they have a reconstruction of the tides which works on a time clock, and they have fossils found in the nets of the fishing boats and even a partly skeleton of a Mammoth. they have aquaria with fish that swim in the North sea. Very interesting too is the private collection of the late Thijs Verschoor of all the animals he found (dead) along the coast of Zeeland. He had them preserved and they're now presented in this museum.

The video below is spoken in Dutch, but the images give you a good impression of what this museum has to offer. It's wheelchair accessible (elevator).



Fishing Museum Breskens - An Impression

If you should go on a Holiday...

What do you prefer?

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Or you can go.....

* biking

* enjoying the country sight

* having a romantic evening

* visiting me

Are you already planning a vacation?

Then let it be in summertime

As West-Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is partly depending for its income on the tourists, a lot of the attractions and museums are closed in off season, but our nature will always be there. There is a lot more to see than I've showed you, but I think you'll get a good impression of what Zeeuws-Vlaanderen is about. When you do plan a holiday in my land, just let me know and I'll put the kettle on the wood stove or we can sip a glass of wine while looking at the beautiful sunset.

Footsteps of Seasons

When ice is melting from the warmth of sun,
green leaves will sprout from branches bold
and sounds of new life will tickle your ears,
delightful sight, when butterflies unfold.

The time of growing into adulthood,
where beauty is spread in different ways,
when young hearts leap at promising smiles
and the fragrance of roses lingers for days.

The soil is wet, life's coming to its end,
slowly leaves fall, in orange brown glows.
The painter of sky is busy these days,
wind's playing the drums whenever he blows.

While silenced by the winter's blanket white,
we'll rest our souls in peaceful, candle light.

© 2011 Titia Geertman

Have you ever visited The Netherlands? - Tell me about it

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    • profile image

      sherioz 4 years ago

      I love your photos of the fishing nets and the rainbow. I have been to Holland several times and loved Groningen and S'Hertogenbosh.

    • jejoju profile image

      jejoju 5 years ago

      That's not a mussel! You must see our Horse Mussels in NZ, It makes that pot look cute and not even worthwhile. That said, I still enjoy your lens, all!

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Your home country looks so very unique and beautiful. This old planet we call home sure has some gorgeous areas to it. I wish I could see them all.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      You live in a beautiful place.

    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 5 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @editionh: You're welcome any time, lots of beautiful landscape and seascape to paint here.

    • profile image

      editionh 5 years ago

      I have been to Holland a couple of times, looking at your gorgeous photos I feel it is a shame that I have not been in that part of Holland yet.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I've always dreamed of visiting the Netherlands some day. Thanks for sharing your lovely area with us.

    • Einar A profile image

      Einar A 5 years ago

      Your home looks like a very beautiful place. Thanks for the tour!

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 5 years ago

      Excellent lens.

    • OldStones LM profile image

      OldStones LM 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens I was liucky enough to visit the Netherlands some years back. My family came from the village of Noord-Sleen in Drenthe. They immigrated to the U.S. in the 1840's. Holland is a lovely country and this lens reflects it very well.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      Very nice place. I love the view and the beautiful place.

    • profile image

      aishu19 6 years ago

      THis is such a gorgeous place...I would love to visit someday

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 6 years ago

      Looks like a wonderful place to visit.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      And by the way, your pictures are great.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      This is total new to me. I visited Netherlands but not this part of it. So thanks for an information lens, well done and presented.

      Regards

    • javr profile image

      javr 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I would like to visit and do a biking trip in the Netherlands.

    • Geekgurl profile image

      Kimberly Hiller 6 years ago from Chicago

      When I was traveling to Europe, I really wanted to stop by The Netherlands. I will definitely go someday. Your lens is really well put together and the pictures are wonderful.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 6 years ago

      Just lovely... thank you :)

    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @mivvy: Thanks for your comment. I just tried and both links were working fine.

    • mivvy profile image

      mivvy 6 years ago

      Interesting lens and great photos. I especially like the series ofthe trees. (I wanted to follow you at twitter but your tweet links don't work)

    • evitaa profile image

      evitaa 6 years ago

      Great lens.Nice pictures.What can I say more...Bravo

    • auntjennie profile image

      Jen 6 years ago from Canada

      I love the pictures of Aardenburg.

    • I-sparkle profile image

      I-sparkle 6 years ago

      Do you never tire of turning out extraordinary work? What an outstanding lens. Thanks so much for the tour.

    • rlivermore profile image

      rlivermore 6 years ago

      Nicely done lens!

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 6 years ago

      Great pictures :)

    • sorana lm profile image

      sorana lm 6 years ago

      I love Holland; it's such a beautiful country. I've been to Amsterdam, and Rotterdam. I was fascinated by the Kubuswonig (Cube Houses) in Rotterdam. I have them featured in my Fascinating Buildings http://www.squidoo.com/fascinating-buildings lens.

    • Titia profile image
      Author

      Titia Geertman 6 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      @religions7: Thank you. How do I do that, just put them in the comment box on that lens?

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 6 years ago

      :( That was the wrong URL, I meant this one: https://hubpages.com/travel/groups-Netherlands

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 6 years ago

      Hi, Your lenses about The Netherlands are very welcome in my Dutch Lenses headquarters ... (do read the instructions) here: http://www.squidoo.com/groups/Nederlands-NL

      BTW - if you were to want to write in Dutch, for the Dutch (and Flemish), I have a group for such lenses too.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Your photos of this region are beautiful. I have been to Amsterdam and Alkmaar and also to Bruges but completely missed this area.